It has been a long time…. I am finding that it is so much faster to post a photo of work in progress using facebook, and more recently instagram, that I tend to go that way rather than spend the time writing a post for the blog….. uhmmm I think that one of the benefits of blogging is that it makes me think about how to put in words things that are floating in my mind…. and that’s a good thing (to some degree)
I now find myself working full time, almost busier than when I held a paid job. I can’t complain, the more I make, the more I like it, which is a wonderful feeling, in spite of the failures that come along.
I am preparing work for a small solo exhibition on our local bowerbird, but in between moments when I need a break from ‘another bowerbird’ I am exploring other styles and techniques. More recently I have explored more the reduction print and the theme of refugees, making figurative work.
The last print is quite a departure for me, but somehow I feel is still strong, so I think I will explore this a bit more!
Things are now back to normal after a nice relaxing, not too busy holiday break. I hope all of you had a nice time and feel refreshed to put the energy in for an interesting and great year!
In November last year I had the very fortunate experience of being selected as one of the finalists for the Rick Amor print prize.
This prize is every four years since it is held every two years but it shares the prize with the Rick Amor Drawing prize, so each has a turn every two years. The event was held at Montsalvat in Melbourne, which is a beautiful gallery. The winning work was a lithograh by Jim Pavlidis. It was indee a beautiful work, you have to see it close up to appreciate the richness of the lithographic marks.
My work was on the topic of refugees. It is called ‘Missing the colours from home’ and it combines various relief techniques, including woodcut and lino. An edition of 9.
This work developed slowly since I made decisions as to the background as I progressed. This is typical of me which it is sometimes a problem if I wait too long to make those decisions and then the wood or lino is cut! In this case it worked well and I was very happy with the result. The experience left me on a high, but what I am learning is that every work I start becomes a challenge in its own right and the process doesn’t seem to get any easier. It is a lot about allowing oneself to just make art and accept with a positive view the many works that don’t quite make it but still have immense value in the subtle learning that goes on all the time.
I have been in the studio every day this week just drawing, printing, painting… the more I do the more I want to do. The last two days I have been making small collagraphs, a medium I am very interested but definitely not very practiced on it. I’ll keep working on it for a little while 🙂
I decided today to forget a little about some deadlines coming up and trying to produce work that can be displayed to a public and sometimes that helps so much in producing something one likes. It is however not easy to separate that feeling from the actual making of art. So today I worked with etching, and a little bit with trying to understand the aquatint process a bit more since I am really very very unfamiliar with it. I produced this small etching of a figure and I quite like it. There is really too many unpredictable things happening in the production of this image and I am sure a next one could be completely disastrous…! That I think is what attracts me to this process so I can’t be too tight about the way I work with this medium. In any case, at least today it worked 🙂
The continuing and increasing number of people having to leave their homelands and seek refuge somewhere else is very sad. It is in fact impossible to imagine how it feels to have to leave the home, the place, the friends, the life that you have known for a long time if not all of your life. It is hard to imagine how it feels to lack for food and water, to have to keep walking when you feel weak and sick….. oh, just imagining hurts.
Thinking about refugees has inspired some of my art. Last year I made an artist book (loose leafs enclosed in a folio) using etching as a technique. I wanted to show in some way the marks that having to become a refugee must leave and etching provided some very strong marks that did achieve what I wanted. I also made a concertina artist book using the monoprint technique
More recently I have been making small drawings. I am not sure yet what I want to do with them, usually I just want to draw and then find the inspiration in this topic and these people. When I start one of these drawings I use as a reference material from numerous sources, for example, the UNHCR, Medecins san frontiers, Amnesty International, and others. I find an image that inspires me and draw it. I don’t try to copy the image and make a portrait, both for copyright reasons but also because I want to see the image as a representation of so many more people. I just try to capture something and then let the drawing find its own way to a final result. Often the lines in the paper tell me what type of colour to use or mark to make.
The drawings are quite small. I think the size allows an intimacy that is difficult to get at a larger scale. Initially I didn’t have a plan for these drawings, but I am thinking that I will try to make another artist book with them. We will see. In the meantime below are some of these drawings.
For a short while now I have been enjoying the challenge of producing small works, in this case small etchings mostly of local animals. I seem to like to push etching to the more unpredictable area, allowing ‘open bite’ and unintended plate marks to develop. This of course means that sometimes I ruin the plate! It is quite surprising how sometimes an extra minute in the acid is too much. It is part of the journey of discovering a bit about myself as I learn how I like to make art.
Below are some photos of these etchings. I am allowing the possibility of large editions (up to 50) to make them more affordable and I am trying Etsy to see if it helps to put the work out there. I do not show my work much so I am exploring this venue, at least for the small work. Let’s see!
If you want to have a look, here is a link to my page.
I have been working on one of two images for an upcoming exhibition ‘Post Post’ that will be shown at Umbrella Studio in April. It has been interesting and challenging and it has taken quite a bit of energy. Today is Sunday and I have spent some time simply drawing. I realise that drawing can be soooo relaxing! especially when it is done for the pure pleasure of it, to play with materials and marks. Since I haven’t posted for a while I thought I would post two of the little drawings I just made.
For the top drawing I decided to give it a background using a small roll of paper I recently bought in an antique shop…. I kind of like it.
Hola! Feliz Año 2015 with lots of health and happiness! Hoping deeply for a wonderful year for all, to find more peace in the world and more contentment.
I have a new website and I am still in the process of moving things over. I am not very good with computers so this turned out to be a bit (I really mean ‘much’) more difficult than I predicted. I hope the change is for the better! still have lots to learn. You will see that the previous blog posts are in fact from the previous website, I had to ‘copy and paste’ them so to correct the dates I included them in the title. I also need to learn properly about inserting images. You can see that many of my images have this weird black frame around them… not intended. Some don’t but I don’t really do much differently… hopefully this will soon be solved. So in the meantime please excuse the no completely professional look.
I hope this year I will share more of my process and inspiration. Now that I don’t have ‘another’ job I am supposed to have more time… it hasn’t happen yet 🙂 but I don’t complain, it is so great to be busy doing something one really likes. I love what I get from other artists on the web, so I hope to give a little back.
This is a small etching I created during the Christmas break. It represents the Humbug damselfish. My husband worked with this fish for many years and I always wanted to create an artwork that had a special meaning for him. Next are pitcher plants and ant plants!
The exhibition only has one more week to go and it has been a truly great experience. There is nothing like the pressure to meet a deadline to help one push the boundaries of what we know and be braver at expanding. This is what this exhibition did for me, push me to combine techniques, push me to explore more about colour (really difficult for me!) and remind me of how nice it is to work with the theme of nature. I will be forever grateful to the Perc Tucker Gallery for their belief in me and support to see this come through. I have put all the works available in the ‘ printmaking’ Portfolio.
I have since created one more work. We had a nest of a pair of brown backed honeyeaters in our garden and two little babies were successfully reared :). On this day it was time to practice flying and both little ones had a go. It was fascinating to see, the little ones have still very undeveloped tails so they fly very clumsily. I hope to produce some work of some of those stages, but this one just shows them safe back in the next wanting to be fed.
Today is a big day…. I am going a bit later to the Perc Tucker Gallery to help mount my exhibition on ‘Birds and Other Creatures’, to be displayed in the showcase. It has been a very intense month, working hard to produce some new works, but very satisfying because I have learned a lot. The exhibition was a last minute opportunity so I only had a month to get ready. There is nothing like pressure to push you to places that may be one wouldn’t go in the tranquility of every day. I feel I have learned much more about working small, using colours and combining woodcut and linocut to complete an image. It is quite interesting to understand better the differences between lino and wood as a relief medium and understand better what it is that attracts me so much to wood. I know I like the work but of course, as with everything, with more time would do a few things differently. I hope people like it! there is also a scary feeling when one is exposed like this to the audience…. hard to avoid that feeling.